I feel like I’ve said this before but I went vegetarian for 3 months last spring and loved it.
But I did it wrong.
I came into it with no preparation and the idea that it was just replacing meat with beans (why did I think this, I have no clue)
By the end of this 3 month period I started feeling anxious and got a couple panic attacks so I assumed it was from a lack of iron or B12 and quit.
Fast-forward a couple months later and here I am. For the past 3 weeks I’ve been vegetarian thanks to my sister who wanted me to join her in starting a vegetarian diet. This time is different though, I’ve done my research!
So I thought maybe it would be good to give some advice to those wanting to try the same thing. Here are some tips I have, links that are totally useful and 2 recipes I tried and loved during my first week.
- Have a good reasonI totally understand if you want to go vegetarian to save the lives of so many animals or for your health or for whatever reason you’ve chosen this path. My one main concern and tip is to GO VEGETARIAN because YOU want to GO VEGETARIAN.
What you put in your body is a personal decision.
I say this because there seems to be this standard or hierarchy that being vegetarian is better then eating meat and that being vegan is even better and so on. I don’t like this at all.
What’s important is that you change the way you eat because you want to. I wanted to because: I’m not crazy about meat anyway, I’ve seen documentaries that have lead ME to believe that it is better for my health and I would like to save the lives of some cute animals too.
- Do it at your own pace
Straight up cutting out all meat from your diet sounds pretty drastic even to me and I don’t even like meat!
A couple months ago I saw a Ted talks video that talked about going vegetarian only during the week and all I could think was “SMART”.
So go at your own pace!
Start off cutting out red meat, then cut out all meat but fish, then cut out meat on the weekdays and so on!
At least this way your getting used to the idea and you’re working up to it!
I feel like this is the #1 concern of anyone when you think vegetarian. It’s like this big question: “If you don’t eat meat, how are you getting enough iron”.
I’m not a nutritionist, so what I’ve learnt about this comes from documentaries and websites.
You don’t really need to take iron supplements, unless you’re already anemic (in that case I would talk to a nutritionist or your doctor)
I have TOO MUCH iron every day and I don’t eat meat, drink milk or take a supplement!
My trick: have a bowl of iron fortified cereal every morning! I take 1 1/2 cups of Shreddies with 1 cup of almond milk every morning and in that one meal I’ve absorbed about 75% of my daily iron.
All this is wonderful, but there’s one thing to keep in mind!
Non-meat iron is different, it needs acidity to be absorbed into your body. So when you’re having your cereal make sure to take a cup of orange juice or some type of fruit juice right after (which can actually add another 15% to your daily iron) !!!
While iron is a hot topic in the vegetarian/vegan world,
I feel like B12 isn’t really brought up much and I think it should be. B12 is an important vitamin that comes from the soil and is found in meat and other animal products.
You could also find this vitamin on vegetables that have been in healthy soil and may still have a bit but this kind of vegetable doesn’t really exist in our crazy industry packed society. Since us vegetarians aren’t going to be packing soil onto our plates to eat everyday, the easiest way I’ve found to get my daily B12 is a sublingual tablet (don’t have to swallow it, it’s just a small tablet that melts super fast in your mouth) and VOILA!
- MyFitnessPal Application
The MyFitnessPal application is really
helpful in keeping track of all your nutrients. I think that it’s main purpose is tracking calories but I try not to worry about that as long as I am eating good wholesome food! You can add all the food you eat during the day, scan barcodes of the food you eat and even add your own recipes, all the while tracking your daily intake of Vitamins and nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron, Protein and so on!
The best part, it’s FREE!!!
My Fitness Pal Website
There are amazing recipe books for vegetarians and if you down feel like spending on cookbooks, Pinterest just became your new best friend
Here are two recipes I found off of Pinterest that I absolutely loved!!